|Following news last week that Canada’s Kahnawake licensing jurisdiction had suffered a second cheating scandal in less than a year, the nation’s National Post newspaper reports that confidence in the enclave’s ability to police itself is on the wane.|
UltimateBet.com, which is owned by a company controlled by former Kahnawake Grand Chief Joe Norton, revealed last week that unnamed insiders had altered the site’s poker software to allow them to see opponents’ hidden cards for upwards of 15 months. The online casino is licensed by the Kahnawake authority and refused to disclose the amount of fraudulent winnings. The newspaper reported that this amount could have amounted to millions as one of the cheaters is reported to have pocketed more than $600,000 in the space of four months last year.
“Online poker is a billion-dollar-a-year industry and it's unfathomable that companies in this industry would operate with a total lack of transparency, beyond the reach of the law,' said Steven Ware, author of an upcoming book on poker strategy.
'Kahnawake and the online gambling sites that it runs have shown time and time again that they are not willing to keep their games fair or protect the players.'
Online casino AbsolutePoker.com, which is also owned by Norton’s Tokwiro Enterprises, was fined $500,000 by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in January for a similar cheating scam also blamed on rogue employees. The Commission was created in 1996 while Norton was Grand Chief and has three members from the community, which is just south of Montreal.